City leader spearheading fight to keep folk in work25 May 2011
City council leader Jon Collins has pledged to create jobs and keep people in work after taking control of the city's jobs agenda.
Mr Collins is now in charge of training, employment and human resources after a full council meeting approved the new executive board.
He will be responsible for developing opportunities for young people, investment initiatives, social enterprise and further education colleges.
He said: "I'm incredibly proud and honoured to have been elected as leader once again and to be given the chance to help steer our city through the challenges and opportunities ahead.
"I'll be taking a lead role in this area of the council's work which will be a big priority for us over the coming years."
Figures released last month showed that six per cent of Nottingham residents aged 16 to 64, or more than 13,000 people, were claiming Jobseeker's Allowance - the highest rate since April 1999.
This was higher than the East Midlands' average of 3.6 per cent and the national average of 3.7 per cent.
Last week, following his re-election and the increase in seats for the Labour Party, the Post wrote an open letter to Mr Collins asking for jobs to be the city's priority for the next four years.
He said: "A major focus for us will be to help protect our city's economy by doing what we can to create jobs and keep people in work through capital projects and by encouraging inward investment.
"This is key to the cohesion and prosperity of the city and it's why we pledged to cut unemployment over the next four years by a quarter.
"It's also vital for us to support young people into work, training or further education and we will be concentrating hard on this."
Georgina Culley, Conservative leader at the council, said the group agreed jobs were important but economic policy should also be looked at, including the potential impact of the workplace parking levy from April next year.
Ms Culley said: "If there's one thing that is going to have a detrimental impact in terms of jobs it's going to be the WPL.
"It's going to reduce the number of companies in the city and reduce the economy. The fact is that goods and services are going to be increased in price to meet the cost."
Hassan Ahmed, who stood down at the local elections, was the previous portfolio holder for employment and skills.
Mr Collins held the post for community safety, which has passed to newly elected Basford councillor Alex Norris.
The new executive board line-up sees Alan Clark, formerly responsible for neighbourhood regeneration, become portfolio holder for energy and sustainability.
Dave Liversidge will look after housing, regeneration and the community sector, Jane Urquhart planning and transportation, and Dave Trimble leisure, culture and tourism.
Eunice Campbell will remain portfolio holder for adults and health, and David Mellen keeps children's services.
Labour councillor Brian Parbutt has been appointed chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee.